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Ugh I know you’re the one who should be ashamed, but instead I’m left feeling ashamed for wearing a less-than-modest dress. You may have thought you were ‘just’ complimenting me, that it was ‘no big deal’ to leer at me and yell, “Mmm mmm mmmm! Girl, you flaunt it!” And to keep yelling at me when I was clearly trying to get away from you?! I even went as far as hiding behind a wall. I’m embarrassed I didn’t just tell you to go f*ck yourself, I hope I can when a similar situation unfortunately happens again. You are not entitled to my body. No one is.
I was walking along the street and moved to the side to let a man pass. Instead of also moving to the side so I could pass, this man moved closer. As we passed one another on the side walk, he felt up my hip briefly. Yuck. I felt so gross after.
This incident occurred last Friday. I was walking home from the library and was just passing the middle school in my neighborhood. A middle aged man in a red shirt was walking on the sidewalk in the opposite direction as me. I thought nothing of it, he looked like he could be picking up his kid at the middle school. As he passed me, I heard him muttering something under his breath which sounded like “slut”. I froze for a second as he continued walking then turned around and said “what did you just say to me?” in an incredulous tone of voice. He said “‘Mamacita’. Do you know what that means?” Completely disgusted, I turned back around and shouted “Creeper!” and continued walking. I wish I had been louder; I wish I had been more confident in my confrontation of his behavior. I had worn my favorite purple polka dot miniskirt in order to feel better about my horrible day and he turned it into something disgusting and cringe-worthy.
Thanks for existing, Hollaback- I can’t even begin to tell you how much better I feel having written this knowing it will be read by people who understand.
I just got back to the US after spending three months abroad in South Korea and Japan. I was very excited to spend a week visiting LA for the first time before I return to my hometown on the east coast. Today is my first day back in the states, and I decided to go for a walk to check out the area. Ten minutes after I stepped out the door, a guy waiting at a red light yelled “Slut!” at me out of his car window. As I continued walking, three more cars with men in them honked at me or slowed down to leer out the window. This isn’t a bad neighborhood, but now I feel somewhat uncomfortable walking around by myself. My first reaction was surprise because I didn’t have any experiences like this while in Asia-not that sexual harassment doesn’t happen there, but I always felt very safe walking alone, even at night. Most women I spoke with there felt the same way. I had been back in my own country for less than 24 hours when this happened. It feels like this is just America’s way of saying “Welcome home.”
I was walking home from the bus stop this morning, and all day I had been stared at and honked at by men in cars, and I’d just about had enough. I was only wearing a long sleeve top and a skirt! Anyway, so I was walking along my street which is a main road, and this guy honked at me and shouted something out. I thought nothing of it. And then, just as I was about to walk into my house, the guy pulled up beside me and started speaking to me. There was another guy in the car as well but he looked more awkward and I could tell he didn’t like what this other guy was doing. He said I looked familiar and asked what my name was and where I went to school. I only gave him brief information, but it was still a bit confronting. He then asked me how old I was, and I told him my real age, thinking he’d go away because I was way too young for him. But he kept talking, and eventually asked me for my number. That was the line. There was no way I was going to even consider handing out my phone number to this creep, he looked about 10 or 15 years older than me! So I said no and walked off, past my house so he couldn’t follow me, and then some other guy honked at me as well! By this time I was really fed up and upset, so I went around the corner to a park, and burst into tears. It was one of the most confronting and upsetting moments of my life.
This sort of thing happens to me too often, and I’m so sick of it, knowing that there are horrible men out there is really frightening.
As I wad drunkenly leaving Turtle Bay bar, this dude appears next to me, touches my leg and goes “I love you you’re beautiful.”
Dude, F*CK OFF. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO TOUCH ME. ALSO YOU HAVE ZERO CHANCE WITH ME. EVEN IF I WERE STRAIGHT. WHICH I’M NOT. I’M GAY AS F*CK. F*CK YOU VERY MUCH.
I’m a receptionist at a car dealership. I’m also a book-artist, and I often bring small-scale pieces to my job with me so that I can work on them/fiddle with them in my free time. Today I brought a nice little Coptic-stitched number which I’ve been using as a journal and sketchbook. One of my male coworkers came up to my desk and began to admire it. I allowed it. He opened it up — and asked if he could ‘write me a poem’.
I said sure. This man had made sexualized comments toward me before, in passing — but I thought, ‘surely this guy won’t have the audacity to write something inappropriate in there, while I’m at work. Surely, surely, he isn’t so stupid.’ Welp, I was wrong.
The title of his poem was “Attraction”, and here is how it went:
Disturbing yet Alluring
Hot yet dampened by
the look of wet innocence
if only the conversation
could breathe to life into
I wrote him a poem in return; titled it “Objectification”:
Ain’t no daydream
for the woman
on the receiving end of it.
We hate that shit
More than anything else
in the world.
He was taken aback, and he said that I’d taken the poem ‘the wrong way’. I said ‘I took it like you wrote it.’ And then, we had a conversation about workplace etiquette and the objectification of women. Wasn’t an easy conversation – it made me shake with nerves! But it was EXTREMELY FULFILLING. THANK YOU, hollaback.
I am not beautiful, that I know, but I also know I am no victim. I was walking home from getting dinner, a five minute maybe 100 yard walk and I was surrounded by four drunk guys. They started yelling things like “hideous bitch,””you’re so f*cking manly, people who look like you shouldn’t exist on this earth,” etc. Unfortunately for the last few weeks, I had gotten this verbal abuse before but this night it escalated. I remained stoic, just enduring until it was over as I usually do. That was until they kicked me in the back of the knees. As I was getting back up, another one of them took a swing to my gut, and before I could react another threw a punch at my jaw. They ran away laughing hysterically. I lost a lot that day, but I would lose more. I’ve dealt with verbal abuse like this in the past but the consistency of it and the culmination of the assault was too much this time. I plummeted into a deep depression. This, not during the assault, was when my life got exponentially worse.
Depression, to say the least, takes a toll, and mine was severe. I alienated myself from my friends, as I did not tell anyone what had happened to me. I became a person that the depression made me, an anti-me. Instead of being chill and just going with the flow, I became somewhat paranoid and was convinced that something was inherently wrong with me that I would get such constant, violent attention. I became someone I hated, every day I woke up hating myself. That was the depression. It took my beliefs, my identity, my ambition, my soul, and my life.
My friends left. I assume they didn’t understand, and I was giving them no explanation. My relationship left, citing that we weren’t working anymore. I became even more alone than I already felt. I became completely alone.
I had lost myself, and everything identifying me as myself and there was seemingly no end to pain in my life. I was lost and alone.
I’m a strong person, or at least I was. I am a trained kick boxer but this all happened so fast and I never thought it would escalate into assault. I returned to the place of my assault yesterday, as a fresh face as I like to think, due to a lot of endless work over the summer, that I am somewhat depression free. I returned to this place. I returned to my school, where I still have a year left, and I felt great pain. I felt great betrayal.
I didn’t ask to be depressed, I didn’t ask to be assaulted, and I didn’t ask to be abandoned but it happened.
Am I stronger today because of it? Maybe. But probably not quite yet.
I was walking back to my apartment downtown after a grocery run when I passed a parked car. I was tired from the walk, carrying my heavy bags of groceries and just wanted to get home. But as I walked past the car, I heard a guy’s voice saying, “You’re hot.” He said something before that but I wasn’t paying attention and missed it. Before I could even turn around to see where the catcall was coming from, a girl in the driver’s seat shouted, “Hey! My brother’s talking to you!” as if that made me obligated to respond in some way.
I wish I could’ve thought of something to say back, but I was really taken off-guard and just wanted to get home. It made me really upset for a few reasons. First, I find catcalling to be degrading, misogynistic and generally a tool men use to assert dominance and make females feel small. But I was especially upset because the girl in the driver’s seat, his sister, was an accomplice in the harassment of a fellow woman. I don’t know if this girl has to deal with street harassment on a daily basis the way I do, but it pained me that she would encourage his behavior instead of scolding him for his disrespect toward me and women in general. In addition, I take offense to the idea that just because a man is talking to me that I am somehow obliged to listen. Give me a break. Was I supposed to just stand there with my armful of groceries in the middle of the night and take his BS because it’s my place to do so as a woman?
In the end, I just kept walking and tuned the two out. I wish I could have thought of something to hollaback.
Also, this was just a few minutes after a guy in a big truck honked his horn at me and stuck his head out of the window of his car to smile at me suggestively. Twice in one night, and to have a girl encourage her brother? Gross.
Today I was harassed. My harasser thought he was doing me a favour by slapping my ass and telling me how good I looked in my shorts. “It’s a compliment!” He said.
I asked him if he liked harassing women. I asked him if it made him feel like a bigger person to belittle me without knowing anything about me, my opinions, my life. “It was JUST a compliment!” He said.
I told him his version of a compliment was fucked in all directions. I told him that this wouldn’t go under the rug, like so many experiences like this I’ve had before.
He started walking away, I was making a big scene. I started stopping women on University Ave, asking them if they have ever been harassed by this man? None were, and if they were they never told me. I yelled to sisters further up the street to watch out for that 45 year old in the orange shirt with the beer gut. “He harasses women!” I screamed.
He slinked around the corner and away, tail between his legs.
I am livid, hurt, vulnerable and in desperate need of reassurance
This shouldn’t have to happen…to anyone!
If it wasn’t for Hollaback! I would have never had the guts to stand up and say something. I hope this humiliation is something he carries with him everywhere he goes…